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A Sunday to Remember.

It was my turn to serve a Sunday mass in one June.  Due to the distance to the church, or difficulties, caused by high tides/floods, in crossing rivers/rivulets, and for want of owning a seamless dug boat, I had managed to stay away from the altar steps for years by intentionally not memorizing the Latin responses, a requirement to get qualified to the prestigious title ‘Altar boy’.   The torrential rains had stopped, however, the river Seetha was flooded, and the muddy waters from the ghats were flowing to the Arabian sea in a mighty hurry.   The roaring of the Arabian sea was quite audible, or as per a friend,  Brahma was very very angry; he did not know why for sure.   I claimed an idle neighbor hood little boat, (paath),  (I gave them the opportunity to share.), and boldly managed to maneuver it between the fertile coconut trees of flooded kudru, (using a bamboo, 4-5 times taller than I was,) towards St Peter’s Church, whose steeple could be seen from miles away, as the morning star.   As I was passing through the Benne-Kudru bottomless ‘guuuund’, my boat got caught in the fast flowing currents.  It was fun, I was happy I did not have to row the boat.  (Isn’t stupidity/ignorance, a bliss?)  This boat took about 10 or 15 spins, just near Bennekudru Mattha, in the ripples of the ‘sulhi’ or centrifugal swirling spin.   (Well, I intend to claim that this gravitational force has to be the center of the earth, well Barkur is, for me at least!)  My hunger caused from fasting from midnight was forgotten.  I found myself, at the west tip of Bennekudru, in a minute or two, a distance of about a mile or less.   I managed to control the boat, and landed in Pandeswar, instead of Saraabeedhi.  

Yes, I missed Mass for the first time.  A kind of fear that I will go to hell enveloped me.  Then, a voice said, “In that case, you don’t have to go to church anymore, if hell is already determined!  Ha, ha, ha!!.” I guess, I heard later, ‘Repent’! Well, I had to narrate all this to my mother, which was quite another hell indeed, or my hell is done with!  I told her, “Can’t God understand my difficulties of crossing the river, is he headless? If I had one anna, Muttha could ferried me.”  She said, “Devak akmaan karinaka, putha).  I said, “He does not know that I am insulting him, because, he does not understand my ‘bhaas’.  If  he knew Konkanni, then why the Mass is in Latin?”  For the first time, my mother had no answer! Did this make a man out of me? And today, the omniscient God understands every lingua franca, but I don’t! Not even any one language 10% well!

 I asked my present pastor, “What is it that drives/motivates you Tim, to do His work, Is it the Love of God, or the fear of hell”?  “The Convertible”, was his reply. “You mean that car of yours without a roof?” 

 May God bless us all, earlier in age, the better! Thanks folks.

 Name withheld by request.


Barkur, located in Udupi Taluk, Karnataka, India. 576 210

Copyright Kishoo, Barkur 2002.